Ross leaves PC World behind for Filtered Media

By Phil Sim in Media News on
IDG’s PC World is on the lookout for a new editor, with Nick Ross’ long and colourful career as a technology journalist winding up next month as he becomes the latest hack to flip across into content marketing.
 
Ross will join Filtered Media, the content marketing firm founded by another former technology journalist Mark Jones, in four weeks time.
 
“It’s sad to be leaving journalism, but I’m looking forward to doing something different”, Ross told Influencing.
 
Because as Ross points out, technology journalism has “been my life” for the last 15 years. Ross arrived in Australia from the UK in 2005 to take on the role of editor of PC Authority, before embarking on a number of considerable challenges. These included founding his own digital magazine publishing entity, launching a tech-focused site on the ABC network, taking over the PC World editorship and having a crack at a publishing-tech start-up.
 
And while his new role in content marketing, is certainly another change-up, he doesn’t believe it will be all that different to the work he has been doing at PC World.
 
“What I’ve been doing for the past year and a half, has pretty much been content marketing, SEO optimisation with a bit of journalism mixed in,” he said.
 
“So really I’ll be doing much the same thing, just for private companies.”
 
Ross points out that his most recent job description, shows just how much the world of journalism has changed over the last decade.
 
“A lot of what I do now is marketing content, so as it comes on top of Google,” he said. “A huge proportion of publisher’s traffic these days comes from Google so if you’re going to write a review you’ve also got to know how to get it to the top of Google.”
 
Ross said he was attracted to working at Filtered, in particular, because he felt that CEO Mark Jones “gets the whole media landscape is changing weekly,” and with the gradual decline in the journalism ranks he feels that content marketing can only increase its share of the marketing pie

Not that Ross hasn’t given his best, at trying to do something positive for the publishing sector. For the past couple of years, Ross has been trying to launch a micro-payment start-up called Nanotransactions that would let readers pay tiny amounts based on factors like the amount of time they spent on a site. However, like his journalism career, Nanotransactions is being shelved for the moment.
 
That was result of being “badly let down” by his technical partners that had promised to build out the service, but had failed to get the product to launch.
 
“It was meant to be four weeks of work away from launch in March last year. By October, I was saying to them “where is it”? In the meantime, I’d been offered trials with publications in Australia like the SMH, and one large overseas player, and everyone was “sounds great, show it to us, and we’re interested”.

“But they just never delivered, so I’ve cut them loose and stopped it for now.”
 
Certainly Ross’s career has had its high and lows, probably more so than most. He said he was immensely proud, in the first instance, at reversing declining circulation at PC Authority, the role his journalism played in the battle against video game classification, as well as his epic NBN pieces, which were the centre of so much attention — both good and bad.
 
The bad, of course, were accusations that as a journalist at a public broadcaster, Ross wasn’t fulfilling his role of writing objectively about the project. That turned into a Media Watch controversy that even roped in now-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It’s an experience Ross described as “incredibly hurtful”.
 
“I learnt a lot about stress, anxiety and depression when Media Watched lied about that, and it was certainly the biggest low point of my career, and I don’t think I can ever forgive them,” Ross said. “However, I’m glad I was able to leave the ABC with my integrity intact.”
 
Ross hasn’t ruled out a return to journalism at some point down the track, but equally it’s not something he’s giving any active consideration to. He’ll remain at PC World for the next four weeks, where he’ll be focused on getting whoever takes over the position, trained up for the role.

“There aren’t too many reviewers out there with a lot of SEO experience, so the sooner we can get someone on board, the more help I can give them brushing up their skills in that area,” he said.
 
The position involves overseeing IDG’s two B2C mastheads, PC World and Good Gear Guide, with requirements as follows: 
 
  • Proven ability to review technology products.
  • An understanding of SEO and how to create content that is fundamentally justified by the Google-related traffic it brings in.
  • Ability to self-edit and publish grammatically-correct content without any other proof reading.
  • Be able to work with the commercial team, helping generate leads and building industry relationships without compromising editorial integrity.
  • Have a strong relationship with Australian technology industry and PR.
  • Ability to commission and edit third-party-written content.
  • Ability to write separate advertorial and custom content for the publisher and their clients.
  • Have moderate photography skills including editing.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics.
  • Be able to work with a multimedia-rich Content Management System.

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McLean leaves ELLE

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sara McLean has stepped down from ELLE magazine.

McLean went into freelance work this month as a copywriter and content writer focusing on health, lifestyle, and beauty issues. She was with ELLE for all of 2017 as acting beauty and fitness director. The publication has not named a successor, but arranged for all correspondence to be sent to Janna O’Toole.

Except for an 18-month run as GRAZIA Australia’s beauty editor starting in 2015, McLean has been working for Bauer Media Australia starting with Dolly magazine as beauty editor in January 2011. She graduated from Swinburne University of Technology in 2010, earning a bachelor of media and communications degree.

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She signed up with Medium Rare this month as an editor after ten years with the Bauer Media Group, where she was managing editor of The Australian Women's Weekly. She had previously served just as long with New Idea magazine.

Endacott is a BA Communication and Management graduate of the University of Central Queensland, finishing at high distinction in 1992.

Keep updated with Endacott at her LinkedIn profile.

Waddington starts at Nine

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Rapana joins WHIMN team

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Jessica Rapana is now with NewsCorp Australia’s WHIMN website.

The WHIMN staff reported that she came aboard as news editor. She confirmed the appointment in a Tweet.

Before signing up at WHIMN, Rapana worked at 9Honey for over a year. Her last stint with NewsCorp Australia was with the North Shore Times. She graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington with a BA International Relations and Affairs, Communication and Media Studies degree and continued there studying law before following up with postgraduate journalism studies at Massey University.  

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ABC Radio introduces regional current affairs show

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ABC Radio is hitting the airwaves with a new weeknight current affairs show for the regional market.

Premiering at 6:05pm on January 22, 2018, the 25-minute “Australia Wide” will feature stories from the ABC Regional network and its national rural and regional reporting team. The content will be geared for people living in rural and regional Australia. The ABC studios in Perth will facilitate the production, with Sinéad Mangan as presenter and Bridget Fitzgerald as producer.

Radio National and ABC Radio Australia will run replays each weeknight at 7:35pm.

“The launch of Australia Wide gives those living in local communities a stronger voice in national conversations and builds on our commitment as Australia’s national broadcaster to reflect the whole of Australia in our news and information,” said ABC Regional director Fiona Reynolds.

Smith leaves Women’s Health

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AWH’s parent firm, Pacific Magazines, has yet to reveal the reasons for her departure, but has not appointed any replacement personnel. The company has arranged for her correspondences to be sent to Zoe Lassig (Pacific Magazines lifestyle digital chief), Alison Kirkman (brand manager, Better Homes and Gardens), Michelle O’hanlon (brand manager, Home Beautiful) and Ange Crotty (national integration manager, New Idea).

Smith joined AWH as digital content manager in January 2016, moving up to brand manager the following year. She previously managed marketing and content at NOVA entertainment and SCA.

Follow Smith on LinkedIn.

Greste to join UQ faculty

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Peter Greste is coming to the University of Queensland (UQ) faculty.

The university announced that the Latvian-Australian reporter signed a four-year deal as UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communication at the UQ School of Communication and the Arts. He will officially begin working next month.

“Charged with threatening national security and held in solitary confinement and detention for 400 days, Mr Greste himself became a victim of the ever-present dangers to journalists seeking to establish and report facts. By bringing a leading practitioner into the classroom as an advocate for the fundamental principles of free speech and a free press, we are helping prepare students to work with passion and integrity in a rapidly changing media landscape,” said UQ vice-chancellor/president Professor Peter Høj, referring to Greste’s 2013-2015 incarceration in Egypt.

“It’s an honour to take on this wonderful new job. I will be teaching, but also engaged with

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